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Your Guide For Drafting Nittany Lions To Your 2020 Fantasy Football Team

As 2020 rages on, who honestly knows if we’ll see NFL football this fall. However, no uncertainty is going to stop fantasy football fans from drooling over their rosters, running mock drafts, and getting prepared for the draft day.

With seemingly more Nittany Lions in the NFL than ever, there’s no better time to draft some former Penn State stars to your fantasy teams. To help you add a little Blue and White to your rosters, we’ve laid out our thoughts on Penn State’s top fantasy football hopefuls currently in the NFL.

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is coming off another good year following his incredible rookie season in 2018 and is expected to be a top fantasy football draft pick again this year. In 2019, Barkley’s carries per game were up to 16.7, better than his 16.3 mark in 2018. However, his targets in the passing game strangely fell from 7.4 to 5.5 per game. He missed three games last season due to injury but still managed to finish third in total fantasy points among running backs.

Barkley was on the field for 84% of New York’s offensive snaps last season, up from 83% the previous season. Barkley, curiously, had just seven carries inside the 5-yard line last season, a number that is all but certain to increase in 2020. Running backs are key components to a successful fantasy football season, and you really can’t go wrong with No. 26.

Miles Sanders

Coming off an explosive rookie season, Miles Sanders is another Penn State running back primed to make a massive impact for your fantasy team.

Last season, the Philadelphia Eagles running back ran the ball 179 times for 818 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, he impressed in the passing game with 50 receptions for 509 yards and three touchdowns while touting an impressive 8.2 yards per target (second-most among running backs).

Heading into his second year, he is expected to take on even more of the workload for the Eagles’ offensive attack. Sanders stands as a great RB2 but could wind up as a serviceable RB1 should the chips fall the right way.

Chris Godwin

Chris Godwin was ranked as a top 10 wide receiver in snaps, routes, yardage, and touchdowns during his breakout 2019 season. He finished the year with 1,333 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Adding Tom Brady as his quarterback is certainly not a bad thing, but it will be interesting to see how his targets are affected with a different arm throwing the pigskin his way.

Godwin is on a team filled with offensive talent with players such as Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, and OJ Howard. Despite this, Bruce Arians’ pass-heavy offense will allow for Godwin to be a key option for Brady. Book him as a solid WR1.

Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson had his best season since 2015 last year and is poised to have another great year. Last season, he totaled 98 receptions for 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns. Additionally, he finished in the top six in routes, targets, receptions, and end zone targets among wideouts.

The problem with drafting Robinson has never been his fault, though: It’s been his quarterbacks. From Blake Bortles to Mitch Trubisky, Robinson has rarely had consistent quarterback play during any stretch of his career. Don’t let this stop you from drafting him, though. He proved last year he can still be a reliable option with mediocre quarterback play.

Mike Gesicki

Mike Gesicki took a big step forward last season, finishing in the top 12 in targets, receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns among tight ends. He was fantasy’s TE12 in 2019, doing the majority of his damage in the second half of the season.

He should be one of the top targets for whoever starts at quarterback, whether it be Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua Tagovailoa. Poised for more improvement this year, Gesicki enters this season as a potential starting option for your fantasy team.

KJ Hamler

KJ Hamler joins fellow Penn Stater DaeSean Hamilton in the Denver Broncos’ receiving corps this season. Hamler was a difference-maker for Penn State’s offense, totaling 98 receptions for 1,658 yards and 14 touchdowns (13 receiving, one rushing) during his two-year career in the Happy Valley. If he impresses early on, the explosive rookie has a chance to contribute to Denver’s offense.

With Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy clearly ahead of him on the depth chart, it’s tough to justify drafting Hamler anywhere but the end of your draft. He’s worth taking a flier on in the later rounds or if he’s available on your waiver wire during the season.

Robbie Gould

Year in and year out, Robbie Gould has been a good choice for your kicker position. The Penn Stater took a step back last season, going 23-for-31 on field goals, and was 0-for-4 on kicks from 50+ yards. However, Gould had an increase in extra points made, making 41 extra points compared to 27 two years ago.

You shouldn’t be focused on a kicker in the early rounds, but given Gould’s past consistency, he should still be viewed as a solid fantasy starter.

DaeSean Hamilton

It appears that DaeSean Hamilton is buried on the Denver Broncos’ depth chart early on, but we have seen what he is capable of during his time with Penn State.

If he can get some targets early on and climb the depth chart, he could have a chance to contribute later on. He’s definitely a “wait and see” fantasy player, though. I would not use a draft pick on Hamilton, but he might just be worth a look later in the year.

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About the Author

Trevor Grady

Trevor is a junior majoring in management information systems, minoring in journalism, and is a writer for Onward State. He is from Dublin, Ohio but is the furthest thing from an Ohio State guy. He is a college football fanatic, and loves everything about the show Prison Break. His parents are both from Boston, so he is a Boston sports fan which is understandably and unapologetically unpopular.

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